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Author Topic: Walk me through Grapple:Screaming Club  (Read 5931 times)
LordKruelos
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« on: July 30, 2012, 02:23:32 PM »

To make sure I understand how to make use of Screaming Club, let me bounce this off the hive-consciousness:

(click to show/hide)

Grapple Benefit
Screaming Club (Pinned Opponent Only):The winner picks up 1 smaller grapple opponent and uses him to make 1 melee attack. The opponent is treated as a club of his Size and with a hit both the target and the grapple opponent suffer the appropriate damage.

For purposes of our example, we have
Hero McAwesomepants (Size M Human) Init 19
Dwarfykins (Size M Dwarf w Improved Stability) 17
Typtcast Bigfellow (Size L Giant w Improved Stability) 15
Sentries Standard NPC Goblins (Size S Goblins) 9

So McAwesomepants decides he wants to pick up a goblin (Gobby 1) and hit another goblin (Gobby 2) with a screaming club (assuming both are adjacent), that looks like:

Round 1, Init 19)  On his initiative count, McAwesomepants: initiatives grapple vs Gobby 1 (Full Action) and wins the initial opposed Athletics check. (Gobby 1 is now Held)
Round 1, Init 9) Gobby 1 is forced to continue the full action Grapple check and loses, so McAwesomepants chooses to Pin Gobby 1. (Gobby 1 is now Pinned) (Gobby 2 beats on the Hero for minimal damage)
Round 2, Init 19) McAwesomepants spends another full action Grapple check, wins, and makes a (free action?) melee attack, with damage done both to Gobby 1 and 2.

So my questions:
a) What does an Critical Success get you in a Grapple check? My cinematic instinct says add 1 additional benefit per AD spent to activate

b) Does the melee attack described in Screaming Club require the Blunt proficiency? Does it always count as untrained?

c) McAwesomepants successfully Sneaks up on the sentries and gets a Surprise Round, so his initial action happens in the Surprise Round, and before the Goblin gets to act, McAwesomepants gets to go again, scoring a critical success on this second Grapple roll -- is it too much to say "Spend 1 AD to activate (in a) the Critical and get an extra benefit, spend 1 AD (per mob of Standard or per each Special NPC) to automatically hit (roll damage and apply to both targets.


« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 03:12:52 PM by LordKruelos » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 03:02:59 PM »

So my questions:
a) What does an Critical Success get you in a Grapple check? My cinematic instinct says add 1 additional benefit per AD spent to activate

b) Does the melee attack described in Screaming Club require the Blunt proficiency? Does it always count as untrained?

c) McAwesomepants successfully Sneaks up on the sentries and gets a Surprise Round, so his initial action happens in the Surprise Round, and before the Goblin gets to act, McAwesomepants gets to go again, scoring a critical success on this second Grapple roll -- is it too much to say "Spend 1 AD to activate (in a) the Critical and get an extra benefit, spend 1 AD (per mob of Standard or per each Special NPC) to automatically hit (roll damage and apply to both targets.

a) Technically, by RAW, nothing. If I remember the rule in SC2.0 was two benefits. It's how I run it in FC, and seems to be a fairly common rulling here.

b) Again, technically, you need the Blunt profiieny since the screaming club is treated as a club. On the other hand, it does mean you get to use your Club chain with it.

c) Where's the spend AD to autohit from?
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 03:08:53 PM »


c) Where's the spend AD to autohit from?

My cinematic "eliminate unnecessary die roll" instinct. If a player is telling me they're willing to spend multiple AD to activate a crit like this and screaming club a pair of Standard NPCs, the arc of table blessings starts to bend toward benevolent.
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 03:33:22 PM »

I don't have an issue with this application of your action die benevolence. Narrative Control is one of the coolest (and oft underestimated) uses of the dice.
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 03:44:25 PM »

Round 1, Init 19)  On his initiative count, McAwesomepants: initiatives grapple vs Gobby 1 (Full Action) and wins the initial opposed Athletics check. (Gobby 1 is now Held)
Round 1, Init 9) Gobby 1 is forced to continue the full action Grapple check and loses, so McAwesomepants chooses to Pin Gobby 1. (Gobby 1 is now Pinned) (Gobby 2 beats on the Hero for minimal damage)
Round 2, Init 19) McAwesomepants spends another full action Grapple check, wins, and makes a (free action?) melee attack, with damage done both to Gobby 1 and 2.


Just FYI, this was recently clarified here and in the posts following that.

It was not the intent that failing a Grapple check on your turn gave a grapple benefit to your opponent.  In this case, Gobby 1 failing a Grapple check would not let McAwesomepants pin Gobby 1, barring a critical success or failure on the part of one or more of the participants.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 03:50:54 PM »

Round 1, Init 19)  On his initiative count, McAwesomepants: initiatives grapple vs Gobby 1 (Full Action) and wins the initial opposed Athletics check. (Gobby 1 is now Held)
Round 1, Init 9) Gobby 1 is forced to continue the full action Grapple check and loses, so McAwesomepants chooses to Pin Gobby 1. (Gobby 1 is now Pinned) (Gobby 2 beats on the Hero for minimal damage)
Round 2, Init 19) McAwesomepants spends another full action Grapple check, wins, and makes a (free action?) melee attack, with damage done both to Gobby 1 and 2.

Ah, ok. Good clarification.


Just FYI, this was recently clarified here and in the posts following that.

It was not the intent that failing a Grapple check on your turn gave a grapple benefit to your opponent.  In this case, Gobby 1 failing a Grapple check would not let McAwesomepants pin Gobby 1, barring a critical success or failure on the part of one or more of the participants.
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 05:13:23 PM »

It's worth noting too, since Bill laid down the link, that the way it's described in the opening of this thread is still a cleaner way to do it. I run it that way (2 grapple checks a round, benefit to the winner either way), and I'm not alone.
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 05:44:30 PM »

Thanks for posting back to the earlier thread, Bill. Therein lies the gist of the official rule.

Now, would I be willing to go with something like your suggestion given a surprise round, a threat, and a willingness to spend multiple action dice? Yes, probably.

Why? Because it's cool, and fun, and doesn't impugn the awesome of any other hero.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 05:47:23 PM »

Why? Because it's cool, and fun, and doesn't impugn the awesome of any other hero.

I think in terms of assessing Narrative Control opportunities, it'd be hard to find a better baseline for what to allow Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 05:54:47 PM »

Why? Because it's cool, and fun, and doesn't impugn the awesome of any other hero.

I think in terms of assessing Narrative Control opportunities, it'd be hard to find a better baseline for what to allow Smiley

You know, I'm going to go make a note to say something to this effect in Spycraft Third. We say similar things but sometimes it's nice to come out and state the obvious, point blank and simply.
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 06:24:59 PM »

Round 1, Init 19)  On his initiative count, McAwesomepants: initiatives grapple vs Gobby 1 (Full Action) and wins the initial opposed Athletics check. (Gobby 1 is now Held)
Round 1, Init 9) Gobby 1 is forced to continue the full action Grapple check and loses, so McAwesomepants chooses to Pin Gobby 1. (Gobby 1 is now Pinned) (Gobby 2 beats on the Hero for minimal damage)
Round 2, Init 19) McAwesomepants spends another full action Grapple check, wins, and makes a (free action?) melee attack, with damage done both to Gobby 1 and 2.


Just FYI, this was recently clarified here and in the posts following that.

It was not the intent that failing a Grapple check on your turn gave a grapple benefit to your opponent.  In this case, Gobby 1 failing a Grapple check would not let McAwesomepants pin Gobby 1, barring a critical success or failure on the part of one or more of the participants.

Also worth noting the number of people who interpret the rule exactly as you did LK because all the extra rounds otherwise required before you can do anything useful with grapple do no one any favours
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 07:50:17 PM »

Also worth noting the number of people who interpret the rule exactly as you did LK because all the extra rounds otherwise required before you can do anything useful with grapple do no one any favours

Except prevent Grapple from becoming the go-to, uber alles melee combat option for all time. Wink
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 08:19:29 PM »

Also worth noting the number of people who interpret the rule exactly as you did LK because all the extra rounds otherwise required before you can do anything useful with grapple do no one any favours

Except prevent Grapple from becoming the go-to, uber alles melee combat option for all time. Wink

I run it that way to prevent it from being a go to manuver.

The by the book three rounds to reverse makes it far too safe a manuver.

Quick reversals add enough chance to make the players think if they really want to grapple and let them feel awesome when they grab a NPC on then, choke slam and the then curb stomp him, just like a husk in ME3. Of course while they're doing that the other NPCs got a fee licks in and the heavies got in range.
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 08:35:39 PM »

Also worth noting the number of people who interpret the rule exactly as you did LK because all the extra rounds otherwise required before you can do anything useful with grapple do no one any favours

Except prevent Grapple from becoming the go-to, uber alles melee combat option for all time. Wink

I don't know - if you win both you get 2 advantages, each of which is roughly equal to 2 half actions.  So for your full round investment you might get 2 half actions.  Seems fair to me.

Even with the critical success houserule-from-Spycraft of 2 Advantages, you're not really ahead - a melee fighter could have just killed their enemy, instead of using both Advantages to perhaps kill the enemy (or just get a pin and not deal any damage).

Without running it this way, and by the book, you get at best a single advantage, worth approximately a half action, for your full round action - while also being vulnerable the entire time.  If you want to use any good tricks, they largely need to be pinned, so you spend 2/3 full actions doing nothing in order to do something cool to a single target.  Meanwhile, your group has nearly finished the fight because they didn't spend a couple of rounds preparing and planning to do something cool but otherwise not really contributing.  Thinking about it now, I'd consider letting a player who rolls a threat for their Grapple check just outright kill/KO their opponent as a critical success - snapped neck, or a blood choke would make that easy, and 6 seconds is plenty of time.  It's no better then a critical success with a knife.

Just my $0.05 though.
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 08:40:30 PM »

We're very sensitive to grapple being too powerful as, to be honest, it borders on broken in nearly every other d20/OGL game on the market (at least, IMHOs).

That said, we get that our current iteration is a bit methodical and by the numbers, and we're looking at options to bring back the sexy in Spycraft Third. So far our plans on this front are looking pretty sweet, and we think you'll like them. For now though, I'd say a crit allowing one extra benefit is perfectly balanced. A crit for a full reversal... Maybe, if it costs 2+ dice. Maybe. Full reversals are hella butch.

But they're also plenty sexy, and desirable in the system. We'll grant you that. Wink
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